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Director's Pick: Onir's Top Five Films of 2011

Last updated on: December 29, 2011 15:08 IST

Directors' Pick: Onir's Top Five Films of 2011

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Shaikh Ayaz in Mumbai

Filmmaker Onir (My Friend...Nikhil), who raised funds through social media for his powerful and poignant I Am, lists his top five Hindi movies of 2011. Take a look.

I Am Kalam

Director: Nila Madhab Panda                        

Cast: Harsh Mayar, Gulshan Grover, Pitobash

It isn't trying hard to tell a story -- it expresses whatever it has to say in a very simple manner.

Most children's films desperately try to sell a message but I Am Kalam works because it's not preachy -- its message comes across gently. There is nothing fancy here. Everything is very subtle and I must say the kid (Harsh Mayar) is brilliant.


Image: A scene from I Am Kalam. Inset: Onir


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No One Killed Jessica

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Director: Raj Kumar Gupta

Cast: Rani Mukerji, Vidya Balan

It's very rare to see a commercial Hindi film where women are protagonists and have strong roles.

No One Killed Jessica was a welcome change because of that every reason.

Its characterisation was perfect; it's good to see women who are not sisters or wives to someone -- but individuals in their own right. The performances are quite good.


Image: A scene from No One Killed Jessica


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Delhi Belly

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Director: Abhinay Deo

Cast: Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Vir Das, Poorna Jagannathan, Shenaz Treasurywala

The film is fresh, youthful and very today.

Right from its dialogue to the situations, everything is adult without being cheap or crass. The characters aren't indulging in dialoguebaazi. They are talking regular language that all of us use in our day to day routine.

I thought they are people like me, like those around me and that's why I connected with Delhi Belly.


Image: A scene from Delhi Belly


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Shor in the City

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Director: Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK

Cast: Tusshar, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Nikhil Dwivedi, Preeti Desai, Radhika Apte, Pitobash

I love the way it combines humour with petty crime. Good storytelling and the pacing is just right.

It has a small cast and that's why its characters look more believable. 


Image: A scene from Shor in the City


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Dhobi Ghat

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Director: Kiran Rao

Cast: Prateik Babbar, Kriti Malhotra, Aamir Khan

Among other things, it's definitely an attempt at doing something different and experimental that makes Dhobi Ghat such a courageous film. There's a sense of quietness; almost as if one is viewing a painting. It's more like a collage of images.

That's the kind of treatment Kiran has given it.

There's a distance from which she looks at her story, at the same time she sees her material with a lot of love and warmth without being judgemental.

In a way, it's a love letter to Mumbai.


Image: A scene from Dhobi Ghat


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